Rohingya are Sons of the Soil of Arakan

by AFK Jilani

Rohingyas are sons of the soil of Arakan. Before the Mongolean invasion in 10th century, Arakan was ruled by Chandra dynasty; both the rulers and the subjects were Indians similar to today’s Rohingyas.”The fact that in the light of racial and linguistic affinity with Wethali people, Rohingyas of Arakan today are to be designated as the descendants of those early Indo-aryan people of Arakan.[Abu Anin, Yangon 2002]

According to U Tiger Yawngwe,” There has Muslims settled in North Arakan for centuries for both my father and Prime Minister U Nu to agree. His father was Sao Shwe Thaike, first President of the Union of Burma. He was asked in the then Constituent Assembly about the Muslims of Arakan, he replied, “If the Arakan Muslims are not indigenous to the country, neither am I” we have all come from somewhere else, albeit longtime ago. Former Prime Minister U Nu said very much the same thing.

U Ba Swe, former Prime Minister, defense Minister and the leader of the opposition supported the Rohingyas. The Tatmadaw (army) also supported Rohingyas development in the Mayu Frontier Division. The Rakhine never opposed it. Even a Rakhine by the name of Major [retd] Htun Kyaw Oo wrote three books on Rohingyas. The government of the Union of Burma, the Opposition and the people of Burma supported the Rohingyas.

In 2012 all of a sudden all were changed to protest Rohingyas, branding them as illegal Bengali immigrants from Bangladesh. During Gen. Ne Win era, he had cultured hatred toward Rohingya with the cooperation of Rakhines, such as— U Hla Htun Pru, Bomhu Tha Gyaw, Dr Aye Kyaw etc.

In1959 Rohingyas from 34 villages had been driven out from Arakan by Col. Tin Oo and Bo Htin Gyaw with the order of Bo Ne Win, which angered President Ayub Khan of Pakistan and when he roared Ne Win accepted them back.

Again in 1978 Ne Win had driven out 300,000 Rohingyas with the operation of Naga Min (Red Dragon). With the international community’s pressures U Ne Win took back all the refugees with Hintha Project. It was rather diplomatic success of the then foreign secretary H. E. Tabarak Hussein.

Then U Ne Win drew the 1982 citizenship Act with the cooperation of Rakhine Dr. Aye Kyaw.

In 1988 Bohmu Tha Kyaw (Rakhine),the president of National Unity Party (NUP), proposed eleven point to the government to cleanse Rohingya minority from Arakan as follows:

1. To brand Rohingya as insurgents and not to issue them citizenship cards.
2. To make marriage restriction.
3. Buddhists settlement in Rohingya areas.
4. To make movement restriction.
5. To prevent higher education.
6. No government services for Rohingyas.
7. To confiscate their lands, shops and buildings slowly, and distribute it to Rakhines.
8. To stop mosques building, renovation, repairing and roofing.
9. Try secretly to convert to Buddhist.
10. In cases at the law courts verdict should be in favor of Rakine, if the case is between Rohingyas and Rakhines and the verdict shall be in favor of rich so that the poor would leave with frustration.
11. To kill them slowly and secretly, this is not unknown to the world community.

Since then the Buddhist government of Burma is implementing the proposals of Col. Tha Kyaw as the proposals were passed very secretly.

Strongly replying to Burmese Deputy Home Minister Khin Ye’s stand on the origin of the Rohingyas, Dipu Moni asserted that Rohingyas were one of the many races that make up Myanmar’s total population. She reminded that the Rohingyas have been in Myanmar for centuries and many of them have even hold high posts in the Burmese government. She said Rohingyas who are predominantly Muslims are living in northern Arakan State in western Burma, had national radio programs in their language in Burma.

“Just by excluding from any list will not make them anything other than an ethnic entity of Myanmar,” said the foreign minister of Bangladesh at the meeting of Bali Process in 2011. She stressed the need for a multilateral approach by the countries of the region to solve the Rohingya problem.

Previous repatriation of quite a few hundred thousand  Rohingyas and acceptance of list of further 28,000 Rohingyas proved that they were very much part of the population of Myanmar, she said. Though she was very active for Rohingya cause now it seems she received no green signal from the government. If they stand strong they could save many lives and properties of human beings. If they remained mum the entire Muslim population of Arakan will be vanished from the surface of Arakan.

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